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'Free the Bowl' Winners Announced

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Youth Videos Tell Big Alcohol to Free the Super Bowl from Beer Ads

Three compelling videos by teenagers were recognized at www.freethebowl.com during Super Bowl half time for fighting back against inane Budweiser commercials in America's most popular sporting event.

Marin Institute launched the first anti-beer-ad video contest, FREE THE BOWL™, so that youth could counter Anheuser-Busch's exploitative beer consumption messages to more than 30 million underage football fans. Kids talked back to the NFL and Budweiser by posting 62 videos on YouTube.com and entering Marin Institute's FREE THE BOWL™ contest.

The three winners include a charismatic 18 year old demanding “so beer companies, do us a favor, and free the bowl,” a donkey calling the Clydesdales a bunch of drunkards, and a high quality 60 second graphic commercial worthy of any Madison Avenue firm. Marin Institute judges reviewed entries by young, activist filmmakers from 23 different states.

“These young people are simply amazing,” said Kim-Shree Maufas, president of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education and a member of Marin Institute's board of directors. “Thank goodness they have the ability to see through Big Alcohol's hype and understand the negative influences preying on them and millions of their peers. Clearly they are not buying the targeted marketing that snares young drinkers with fake-cool glamour.”

Winners of the country's first FREE THE BOWL™ video contest are:

  • First Prize – Jeremiah Golden, 18, North Walpole, NH for “The Super Bowl Influence”
  • Second Prize – Jonathan Reed, 17, Benicia, CA for “Free The Donkey”
  • Third Prize – Eric Shaughnessy, 18, Arnold, MD, for “Bring It Back”

Subjects of the videos look at alcohol-related harms through teen eyes. They reflect loss of life, loss of good health, loss of friendship, loss of opportunity and loss of innocence. Some are humorous, some are sad, and some are both. Yet all of them demand that inappropriate beer ads during the so-called “family friendly” Super Bowl must end.

During the 2008 Super Bowl more than 30 million underage youth viewed beer ads. Beer was advertised more than any other product. Millions more go online to see the commercials after the big game. Annually, 10.7 million underage youth drink, 7.2 million binge drink, while underage drinking cost the country 60 billion dollars. Underage exposure to ads has been scientifically shown to influence kids to drink. Alcohol is the most widely used drug by youth, and the Super Bowl is the most widely viewed sporting event.

“It's time for Anheuser-Busch InBev and the NFL to look at these incredibly creative videos, listen to the kids' messages, and remove beer ads from the Super Bowl,” said Bruce Lee Livingston, executive director of Marin Institute. “The public health of our youth is more precious than advertising revenues from Big Alcohol. The kids are challenging the Belgian and Brazilian directors of Anheuser-Busch InBev to free the Super Bowl from their beer ads,” Livingston added.

The videos can be found at www.FreeTheBowl.com and background information on the effects of alcohol advertising on youth at www.MarinInstitute.org.

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